Toyota Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy with 5th Annual Donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities
PLANO, TX -- In honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Toyota Financial Services and Toyota Motor North America are continuing their support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their communities, by providing a total contribution of $60,000 to five HBCUs as well as the Tom Joyner Foundation. This is the company's fifth consecutive year partnering with the Tom Joyner Foundation, and supporting HBCUs through this donation.
Toyota 's contribution will be used to help boost college retention and graduation rates for African-American students, and is in keeping with the company's deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as mobility for all. Over the past five years, this initiative has enabled Toyota to assist students who may have otherwise been unable to complete their education due to the lack of financial aid.
The following universities will each receive $10,000: Spelman College (Atlanta, GA); Jackson State University (Jackson, MS); Talladega College (Talladega, AL); Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC) and Virginia State University (Petersburg, VA).
An additional $10,000 will go to support the work of the Tom Joyner Foundation, which provides academic support, scholarships, and programming to over 80 HBCUs in the Southern and Eastern United States.
As of 2018, the college graduation rate for African-American students in the U.S. stands at 42%. (1) It is noted that the financial support of universities is key in black student retention, thereby producing high graduation rates.
"Dr. King believed all young people should be given an opportunity to receive the best education possible, and yet, I have personally witnessed promising, young students forced to withdraw from school as a result of financial burdens," said John Ridgeway, general manager of Toyota Financial Services' Customer Service Center in Maryland, and HBCU alumnus. "Through its contributions, Toyota hopes to help ensure students achieve their dreams of higher education, while also contributing to the sustainment of these HBCUs and their ability to address retention issues."
Tom Joyner, founder and chairman of the Tom Joyner Foundation, said these scholarships really do make a difference.